The meatballs were textually soft and highly seasoned without me requiring to add any more salt and pepper to it. My only addition was spiking the mix with a little Za'atar spice and it did make a difference. The tomato sauce base was also lightly infused with the Zaatar spices coming though gently, finished off with with bite and crunch from my home-grown runner beans.
Serves 4 with rice
Fro the Za'atar Spiked Meatballs
175g vegetarian Sausage mix
1 teaspoon Zaytoun Palestinian Za'atar
In a large bowl, stir in 175g of Sausage meat and the Za'atar. Then carefully pour in 300ml cold water, stir well to combine and then let it sit for 30 minutes to thicken.
Set aside, while you get on with making the Za'atar Stew base
For the Za'atar Stew Base
Around 500g runner beans, topped tailed and sliced into pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 red chillies, sliced
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes, crushed or blitzed in a food processor
2 teaspoons Zaytoun Palestinian Za'atar plus extra for sprinkling on the finished dish
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pan, big enough to hold the ingredients. Add the oil and the garlic and fry them gently until the garlic begins to soften, then stir in the chilli and heat for a minute, before stirring in the tomatoes and za'atar. Bring to a boil, then turn down and allow to simmer gently fro 10 minutes, then throw in the beans and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the runner beans are tender. While the stew is simmering away gently, go back to the Sausage mix.
Continued the Za'atar Spiked Meatballs
The sausage mix should be thick now, with you hands scoop out around a large tablespoon and roll into small round balls, keep doing this until you have used up all the mock sausage meat. I managed to make around 16 with my hands, but you may make more or less, just bare in mind that this will be divided between 3 - 4 people. When done, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry them, ensuring all sides are golden and done. Drain and set aside.
When you runner beans are tender in the stew, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then gently stir in the cooked Za'atar meatballs until well coated.
Serve with plain rice.
Garnish or Sprinkle with extra optional Za'atar.